never again

Rosy Tshabalala & her late mother Julia Kedibone Tshawe

Rosy Tshabalala & her late mother Julia Kedibone Tshawe

The only photograph

One day a travelling photographer came past the Tshabalala house, and asked if he could take a photograph of Rosy’s mother, Julia. Today it is the only photograph the family have of their beloved mother and grandmother. When Rosy’s children look at the photograph, they remember how their grandmother read them stories when they were little.

Julia Kedibone Tshawe had suffered a mental illness for a long time which got gradually worse. Rosy tried to care for her mother at home. But it became very difficult for her and the safety and well-being of her children. Her mother needed specialized care. So, Julia eventually moved to Life Esidimeni in 2009 and Rosy visited her regularly.

On 30 June Rosy received a text message to say that her mom had been moved to Mosego Home. Rosy and her husband went there the next day. A nurse told her; her mom's name was on the register, but she had been moved to another NGO. Rosy was sent from NGO to NGO looking for her mom. Finally in August, two months later, Precious Angels told her to go to Kalafong Hospital, where she was informed her mother had died. She had died in July already and her body had laid in the mortuary all this time.

Today Rosy still does not know how her mother died, as a post-mortem was not conducted on her corpse. She is angry. “Why have the people who did this got away with it? They must be punished and account for what they did,” she says.